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Things to Do in December 2021
Photograph: Steve Beech / Shutterstock

London events in December

Your guide to the best activities, events and fun stuff happening in London throughout December 2022

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Rosie Hewitson

Can you hear those sleigh bells jingling? Yes, it’s December, and Christmas in London has begun in earnest. See the city skies sparkling with glimmering Christmas lights, fill your ears with Christmas songs, scoff down an indulgent Christmas sandwich, get luxurious festive treats from London restaurants and liven up a winter walk with a trip to a heated pub garden.

Read our guide for the lowdown on the events, parties, cultural happenings, and things to do taking place in London in December 2022.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our December 2022 highlights

  • Things to do

Even if you think Christmas is a load of consumerist claptrap, you can’t deny that London looks a whole lot better when it’s hung with strings of glistening lights. And London is never in short supply of some thoroughly excellent festive light displays. From the classic angels that beam over Regent’s Street to the snazzy, themed displays over Carnaby Street, a trip to one of these gleaming streets will flutter the heart of even the most Scrooge-like of souls

  • Restaurants

It is cold, so cold. Head to the nearest cosy outdoor space in London immediately. Luckily, some of our favourite bars and restaurants have been thinking on their frozen feet. So wrap up warm and check out these new outdoor terraces for drinking and dining decked out in wintry decor and adorned with roaring fire pits, patio heaters and enough faux fur to make you think you got stuck in the wardrobe on your way into Narnia. 

  • Things to do
  • Sport events

Strap in, because this week marks the final games of this year’s controversial World Cup. Ready for more big upsets? More heart-wrenching penalty shoot-outs? There’s a list of giant screens and parties as long as David Seaman’s ponytail all vying for your attendance. So, we’ve whittled it down to the best places to watch the final matches.  

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating

Ice skating season is back baby, and we can’t wait to whizz around one of London’s many excellent slabs of ice. Winter Wonderland’s rink is the biggest; Canary Wharf’s is open for the longest period (18 sweet weeks!); Somerset House’s is the most fabulous; and Glide at Battersea Power Station is the shiny new kid on the block. Take your pick, lace up your boots and get swishing.



  • Art
  • Bankside

Magdalena Abakanowicz’s ‘Abkans’ are massive woven sculptures that look like the type of bizarre, organic creation you’d expect to discover buried in the deepest reaches of a rain forest. Made in the 60s and 70s, the ‘Abkans’ cemented the artist’s reputation – as well they should’ve, because these towering, raw shapes are absolutely brilliant. Now you can see a whole load of them in Tate Modern’s huge Blavatnik Building. If that wasn’t reason enough to go, they’re also showing some of the Polish artist’s other large-scale works, including ‘War Games’, sculptures making use of felled tree trunks.

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Seven Dials

‘It’s……….Rebekah Vardy’s account’ became one of the most iconic lines of the decade in 2019, after Coleen Rooney posted an explosive revelation on her social media channels that she’d quietly been conducting an investigation into who from her inner circle had been leaking stories about her to The Sun. Now you can see a pretty faithful stage retelling of the 2022 libel case that followed. It’s a gripping retelling of what went down in court that week and it’ll leave you lamenting that all UK court cases are not publicly televised. 

Grab last minute presents at London’s best Christmas markets
  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs

Markets, eh? They’re pretty nice to wander around at nearly every time of year. But, at Christmas? Well, that’s when London’s markets really come into their own. Every year the capital fills with the kind of markets that host fairy-light-lined stalls, festive street-food sellers and community tombolas, with a playlist of Christmas songs on loop in the background. In fact, whether you’re looking for tasty treats, traditional decorations and cutting-edge arts and crafts or are just shopping for a last-minute present, the capital’s selection of Yuletide stalls are here to help. 

  • Things to do

New Year’s Eve in London means you’re faced with some choices. Sometimes there’s so much choice, in fact, that you end up spending the night indoors with a few loved ones and plenty of booze. We’ve all been there, but London boasts loads of great New Year’s Eve events that should coax even the most reluctant NYE fan out of the house this year. 


  • Music
  • Classical and opera

An evening of proper Christmas carols is an absolute must if you’re interested in getting entirely wrapped up in unalloyed festive cheer. Check out our comprehensive round-up of the jolliest and most moving services in the capital. Indoors and outdoors, cathedrals, churches and secular spaces, we’ll be adding to it constantly, as more events are announced. 

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